A Message From Kimberly

by Kimberly Saviano

In late 1998, I was 28 years old; lonely, despondent, and suicidal because of a condition that I didn't understand and which I thought isolated me from everyone. I'd never allowed myself to be in any kind of romantic relationship because I just knew they'd find out about my terrible secret and that would be the worst thing in the world. I tried to fill my world with other distractions and activities, but the depression and anxiety continued to get worse and worse. I know I wouldn't have survived through the end of that year if I hadn't found this support group. But finding the group, making my first contact, attending my first conference, meeting the friends who I will always love and admire, and being nurtured as we all contributed our stories and voices to this group, made it possible for me to thrive.

My own story sounds melodramatic to me now, I've told it so many times; and the life I lead now makes it almost impossible to believe that that terrified and depressed woman was me. Finding this support group, allowing myself to be healed by this amazing community of love and acceptance turned my life around in such a literal and profound way, that I'm unable to describe the scope of it or the gratitude that I feel.

It's truly been an honor to have served as president of this group. It was a tougher road than I expected in many ways, but also more rewarding than I thought possible. I have learned a lot these past four years - about the world, about this community, and about myself. I have more confidence to lead than I ever imagined, and I know I'm a survivor and a fighter in situations I couldn't have anticipated or prepared for. The people I have gotten to meet and work with have been incredible - volunteers who give so much of themselves that it is astonishing to witness and humbling to call these people friends.

I'm thrilled to see this group continue to evolve and grow and I think the future is limitless for this group. I will continue to be a part of this organization for my entire life, and in the immediate future, that means working on a new website as we re-brand ourselves as InterConnect, as well as helping the current leadership and board in any way that I can. I can't wait to see everyone [at the conference] this summer and I hope that many of our veterans will come by to check out how things have progressed and grown. Thank you all for being a part of this amazing group and thank you for all the love and support you've given and continue to give!



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